I spent Chinese new year with a good friend of mine, Gloria, and her family.
Firstly, I went to Macau from Hong Kong to meet Gloria at her home. It was great to see her and her family, as I haven't seen them for about 5 years. When I arrived, Gloria and her dad gave me a warm welcome and we went for dim sum for lunch. It was my first time trying dim sum - and it was delicious! We had various dishes including shrimp parcels, chicken, sweet balls with red bean paste, and other yummy dishes. It was strange not being able to pick up on words when overhearing conversations, Cantonese is very different to mandarin and I didn't realise just how much!
Later, we met Gloria's sister, Bonnie who had flown in especially for new year.
We had a great catch up before heading over the border gate to jiuzhai, where we were picked up by Gloria's brother to go to Guangzhou city. We arrived at a fancy restaurant to meet Gloria's relatives over a tasty meal of lobster, oysters and other special food to celebrate the new year. Gloria has a really cute nephew who was rather entertaining.
We stayed in a posh hotel by the river central to Guangzhou. The following few days consisted of nice togetherness with Gloria's family, dim sum lunches, shopping and a trip to an evening flower market. At the market, there were many different stalls (including one which had bamboo sculptures of things such as flowers and dragons) and various entertainment. The atmosphere was warm and inviting.
On the last evening, before we had to go back to Macau, Gloria's brother and sister in law took us for a farewell meal - of yummy chicken, veg, fresh fish and some scary worms. We had a chat about future ambitions, kindly translated by Bonnie.
Back in Macau, Gloria had to work at the casino so during the day, I went on mini adventures to explore the city. There are so many grand casinos in Macau which were great to walk around. The Portuguese influence is noticeable everywhere in Macau through the buildings, dual language and special foods.
During the evenings, myself and Gloria would watch Chinese movies with subtitles, and we went to the casinos accompanied by Bonnie and Gloria's mother. On some nights, there were live bands on which I really enjoyed.
Overall I spent nearly 3 weeks in Macau which I'll never forget. The wonderful company and hospitality of Gloria's family was much appreciated! At the end of the trip, we went to Guilin - which I'll talk about in another post :)